Life span: 10-12 Years
Height: 20 – 24 inches
Weight: 45 – 65 lbs.
The Harrier is a medium-sized breed of hound dog that shares many similarities with the Beagle, albeit it is larger with a more muscular build. The Harrier was developed with traits from the Foxhound; it works well in groups and is a formidable hare hunter. The Harrier stands about 20” tall at the shoulders and has a smooth, tri-colored coat that is most often black, white and tan.
This breed is friendly and happy, and despises being alone. They are good company to both humans and dogs, although their owners might find their clever attitude to be a bit of a problem at times. For this reason, they must never be alone, and always be entertained!
This breed has large ears that flop down, and a medium sized tail that has a slight curve. Their eyes can be brown, light brown or hazel, with a black nose. Their short coat is straight, dense and rough to the touch in order to prevent cuts. They are sensitive to extreme weathers, meaning too cold or too hot. Coat colors include black, grey, white, red, brown, light brown, and cream colored, mostly being bi colored.
It is believed this breed has its origins in the middle ages, around the time when Normans invaded England (1066), who used them as hunters. In 1260, the first pack of Harriers was found in England and was named the Penistone pack. This pack’s bloodline is thought to have continued on for half a millennium. The Harrier’s ancestry is unknown, although many believe it is descendant from the Foxhound, and many others argue it is the resulting breed from crossing a Greyhound and a Southern Hound. Some historians even believe it is a result from crossbreeding Basset Hounds, Talbot Hounds and Bloodhounds, or even between the Foxhound, Greyhound and Fox Terrier. Even so, the main difference between the Harrier and the Foxhound is that hunters follow Harriers by foot, rather than by horseback. The Harrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, with the Harrier Club of America being created in 1992. Today, they are still used as hunters, primarily in the United States and United Kingdom.
This friendly dog has a happy personality, causing it to be pleasant company. It gets along well with other dogs, being friendly even with strange ones, and prefers a household with plenty other dogs to play with. They are stubborn and will not hesitate to let you know, loudly, of anything they want. If bored, they will resort to destructive behavior, and they must always be within a fenced yard if they are without a leash, due to their hunting instincts. They are also quite clever, which can prove to be a problem at times, so be sure they have plenty of toys and a job to do so they do not resort to digging, or any other type of mischief such as escaping.
This breed is very healthy, and rarely suffers from any diseases. The most common condition they may suffer from is:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Their short coat requires little maintenance, needing only an occasional bath and weekly brushing. Their ears should be checked regularly for any dirt to prevent infections, as well as their teeth brushed and nails trimmed. Exercise should be done daily and in sufficient quantities, otherwise they might get bored, resulting in destructive behavior. They are hunters and therefore should never be left without a leash in any area that is not properly fenced. Training can be difficult given that they tend to have a stubborn nature, but with patience and consistency, along with firm yet kind commands, it can be achieved.